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Chancellor’s Court of Benefactors

David Frederick and Baroness Valerie Amos in ceremonial dressDr David Frederick (1983, Politics), Foundation Fellow, has been welcomed into the Chancellor’s Court of Benefactors. The Chancellor confers Membership of the Court of Benefactors on those who have been outstandingly generous towards the University of Oxford.

The Court offers benefactors the chance to engage with the Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, and other senior leaders within the collegiate University, and other members of the Court to gain a greater understanding of the life and work of the University and the colleges.

Last year, we were delighted to announce the agreement between Dr Frederick, Baroness Valerie Amos, Master of University College, Oxford, and Chancellor Pat Gallagher, University of Pittsburgh, which ensures the phased donation of $35 million to fund Univ’s transformational Univ North building development project. In an innovative philanthropic arrangement benefitting two institutions, Univ has made a 50-year commitment to distribute a proportion of the income generated from the completed Univ North development to the University of Pittsburgh Honors College, where Dr Frederick completed his undergraduate degree. In addition, Dr Frederick has gifted a further $5 million to the Univ North project.

Dr Frederick joined the College as a Rhodes Scholar in 1983 after completing his undergraduate degree at the University Honors College, Pittsburgh University. He studied at Univ until 1987, earning a DPhil in politics. He later served in the Department of Justice as Assistant to the Solicitor General and as Counselor to the Inspector General. Since 2001, Dr Frederick has been a partner at Kellogg, Hansen, Todd, Figel & Frederick, P.L.L.C. in Washington, D.C.

Dr Frederick is one of the most accomplished lawyers in the United States. For more than a quarter-century, he has been a prominent advocate before the U.S. Supreme Court, where he has argued more than 55 cases on behalf of a wide diversity of clients. He has represented workers, investors, immigrants, farmers, Native Americans, small corporations, public-sector labour unions, trade associations, large companies, foreign governments, states (Alaska, Delaware, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Vermont), the European Union, and the United States.

In the lower courts, Dr Frederick has played a leading role in some of the most pressing legal controversies of recent decades. On behalf of the United States, he was part of the counsel arguing the landmark Microsoft antitrust case, which enabled competition to flourish on the Internet. In the fallout from the historic settlement in the late 1990s between tobacco companies and States, he represented 38 states in pathbreaking arbitration to hold the tobacco companies to their payment obligations for damages related to tobacco use. When the financial crisis of 2008 hit, he served as lead counsel for the National Credit Union Administration, recovering more than $5.2 billion for the NCUA from Wall Street banks. Furthermore, his argument in court representing retired professional football players led to their historic billion-dollar settlement with the National Football League for concussion-related injuries and illnesses, leading to greater attention on preventing head injuries in sports. From 2018 to 2022, Dr Frederick was lead litigation counsel for the state of Florida. He recovered more than $3.6 billion against opioid manufacturers, distributors, and leading retail pharmacies for their role in causing the opioid epidemic.

Dr Frederick and his wife, Sophia Lynn, have established scholarships and fellowships at numerous universities and supported many arts organisations, including the Kennedy Center, the National Museum of American History (on which Dr Frederick serves as a Board Director), and many theatre organisations. They created the Crow’s Nest Research Center to protect a 132-acre parcel in Stafford, Virginia, and to promote wetlands research, environmental education, and conservation. To top it off, Dr Frederick is an avid supporter of the Univ Boat Club and the San Antonio Spurs.

Published: 16 November 2023

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